Colours demand marriage equality by year end

| 18/11/2019 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The local activist group advocating for the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people has called on the governor to put same-sex marriage equality in place before the end of the year. In the wake of the ruling by the Court of Appeal that the Cayman Islands must “expeditiously” legalise civil unions for gay couples, Colours Cayman met with Governor Martyn Roper and made the point that this means before 29 December.

The appeal court’s decision overturned the chief justice’s ruling, in which he found in favour of the appellants, Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden, and changed the marriage law from the bench to provide for same-sex marriage and put an end to the ongoing violation of their rights.

However, the appeal court ordered the Cayman Islands Government, which had appealed the ruling, that it must “expeditiously” implement an equivalent framework to marriage for gay couples. But the CIG has said it has no plans to address the issue until next year.

The premier made an appeal at the end of his budget statement for MLAs and the church community to back the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships sometime in early 2020 to avoid any imposition of marriage by the UK.

The governor has not said what he thinks “expeditiously” means or at what point his office would step in. In a statement following the appeal court ruling delivered earlier this month in the case of Day et al versus the government, he said he would work closely with the CIG to ensure the direction was “acted upon as quickly as possible”.

As he delivered the throne speech in the LA on 8 November Roper also urged legislators to chose their words carefully during any debate that ensued.

So far few members have commented publicly on the court ruling. While Ezzard Miller has stuck to his position calling for civil partnerships, Opposition Leader Arden McLean has not yet stated where the official opposition stands on providing the necessary legislation.

Last week McLean took aim at the governor for his warning about potential bigotry towards the LGBT community during any future debate, claiming that Cayman had always treated people of different sexual orientation with dignity.

“If that has changed it has come about with the arrival of people like Raznovich and Governor Kilpatrick, not because of Caymanians,” he said, referring to attorney and former law school professor, Dr Leo Raznovivh, a vocal advocate for the LGBT community, and former governor Helen Kilpatrick, who was quite vocal in calling on government to address the issue of same-sex marriage.

McLean said it was the governor who should choose his words more carefully. Nevertheless, he did not say if the opposition will back any forthcoming legislation to address the lack of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Billie Bryan, the founder and president of Colours Cayman, and Raznovich, who helps the non-profit group, met with Roper and pressed upon him their belief that the appeal court’s findings against marriage equality was shameful, saying the court had “shirked its duty as guardian of the Constitution when it has been clearly breached by the Cayman Islands Government”.

They said the courts use of the term “expeditiously” should be understood to mean that the CIG must put a legal framework in place before the deadline by which Day and Bodden must decide whether or not to appeal the decision to the Privy Council, which is within 52 days from the date of the appeal court judgement, or before the 29 December.

Colours said that if government fails to meet that deadline, the governor or the UK must impose it by that date.

“Whether the governor or the crown decides to do so by using the powers under Section 81 of the Constitution or by Order in Council, Colours Cayman made it clear and formally requested that they must do so by extending same-sex marriage to the jurisdiction,” Bryan said in a press release about the meeting, adding that anything but same-sex marriage would be considered discriminatory and subject to judicial review in the UK courts.

But the activists said the governor revealed that the law will not be implemented until the beginning of next year, which Colours said is too late. Bryan added that the non-profit will continue to press for full marriage equality for all residents of the Cayman Islands.

See Colours Cayman press release in the CNS Library

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Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    After 8 years of public boasting, witness accounts, and police indifference, homegrown West Bay Caymanian Chad Anglin was finally arrested, charged, and prosecuted for the violent and deadly rape, murder, and burning of Frederic Bise. Justice Henderson, in handing down his 34 year sentence, felt it necessary to state that the victim, was Swiss and homosexual (conflating with victim’s forensic anal rape), as if those were relevant or mitigating factors against the taking of a human life.

    The problem is not limited to the LA, it’s also culturally backward within our judiciary, police force, which is duty-bound to not only provide human and civil rights and liberties, but also to defend them!

    Sadly, there’s still a lot of road ahead towards reconciling with the calendar date as we head into 2020. Our voting family supports Colours Cayman and anyone else who allies with the rightful pursuit of historic social justice for all LGBT. It’s the right thing to do.

  2. no more gaybashing says:

    Coulors is totally right. For the govt. to say they can’t get to the issue until next year is the same as saying they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. This just serves to highlight how imperative it is that the appeal to the Privy Council be made. It’s what govt. secretly wants anyway — so that they can say to the churches, “See, we did all we could to stop it, but we were forced by the courts.” What cowards the govt. is. And how wrong to be sucking up to churches in a country that claims to have freedom of religion.

  3. Anonymous says:

    …Nature demands cannabis legality universally. Hmm…natural.. disaster? Lol

  4. Anonymous says:

    Again, you’ll marry your cousin but not let two consenting adults marry each other. You can’t make this stuff up!

  5. Anonymous says:

    McLean stop talking out of your ass. Cayman has shown respect to the LGBT community? Really??? When has Eden, O’Connor and Seymour ever shown respect to their fellow LGBT Caymanians? Ezzard Miller is the only MLA that has shown respect. The rest of you backward hypocrites need to call it a day, you don’t deserve to be in the LA. I am Caymanian BTW.

  6. B. Caymanian says:

    Oh pleeeeease … what does the Governor has to do with the democratically elected people. I am see a trend now. From our Courts to now try enforce your lifestyle by executive orders… I notice you folks HATE democracy!

    • Anonymous says:

      I hated democracy when it voted to maintain slavery, and the death penalty. I am grateful to the UK for overruling the local government both times. I look forward to the UK taking action again should Caymanians rights be infringed further.

      No one ever died fighting for your version of democracy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can we just stop this? There is no doubt that eventually it will be legal everywhere-let’s stop wasting money and time and allow these marriages… Who is it hurting?

    • Anonymous says:

      The egos of the churches who love to be paid to dictate people how they should live their lives as if being religious is a requirement to be Caymanian

    • Bob Marly says:

      My question is: Why do they want to be “Married”? Is it against the law for two men (or two women) to live together? If not, then let’s move on. What am I missing? Don’t worry, be happy!

      • Anonymous says:

        Because: Medical visitation rights, spousal consent, living wills, estate planning, buying property and other assets, pension assets, retirement investments, life insurance, running a household with Co-mingled assets and binding dual custody of their daughter, a human, with two moms.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you can’t figure that out for yourself then you won’t understand the answer. Ask your Mom.

      • Anonymous says:

        If one of them is an expat and the other a Caymanian, then yes, it is illegal for them to be in the same country unless independently employed. To say nothing of the fact that the they are not entitled to spousal rights like community property, the right to make medical decisions if indisposed etc

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        It is relative to legal considerations. For example, if your ‘wife’ is not Caymanian, can they stay? Yes, if you are married. She can eventually get Caymanian Status.

        Another: If one of you have a job which has health benefits, the spouse is only covered if they are ‘married’, or some legal equivalent of same.

        Another: If/when you die, your spouse is awarded the whole of the estate you built together.

        Another: People who love each other and wish to marry should be able to do so. To deny them the ability to do so, is to establish an unequal playing field, since ANY Caymanian — under the law — can marry anyone they choose.

        C’mon people. Why are some of us chomping at the bit and worrying about this. It is a fact that they are gay Caymanians. There have been in the past and there will be gay Caymanians in the future. It is a statistical function of nature.

        Give me one reason why you think it is right to have unequal rights for some Caymanians and equal rights for others. ONE reason. We are talking about law here, not religious concepts. UNDER the LAW, all Caymanians should be equal. Yes or no, and if not, why?

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do heterosexuals get married? Just answer the question. Just live together. Why do you get married and get the license?

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re missing empathy and the point mostly. If they can’t marry they aren’t equal to everyone. Also, their partners don’t get the benefits like staying on island being on health insurance etc. why is it hard for you to understand this? Or do you only think as far as your belly sticks out?

        • Becky says:


          The partner can be added onto the existing work permit/ PR and stay on island. There is a precedent case where this happened not too long ago. Also, no health insurance company on island restrict/deny same sex partners to be added to their health insurance policy.

          Leave marriage for man and woman and amend the existing laws to allow same sex couples to have the same benefits/ rights as a heterosexual couple would have.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes. There is a precedent case. Unfortunately the authorities act unlawfully and ignore it. There seems to be little rule of law here, and less accountability.

          • Anonymous says:

            The precedent case you refer to only applies to an employed foreigner (who can then add the non working, non Caymanian spouse to their permit). It dos not cover a case where one partner is Caymanian, and the non Caymanian is a foreigner. The rules as they stand actually discriminate against Caymanians.

          • Anonymous says:

            Becky, looks like it’s not only Beyoncé that thinks you have terrible morals.

    • Anonymous says:

      We cannot even progress to get a new Port enhancement, but you think this LGBT whatever is progress? Or demands attention?
      One thing at a time. Let’s get the New Port started and completed, then we can move on to follow the rest of the world straight to Hell.

    • Anonymous says:

      The CI Government has a surplus so instead of helping struggling Caymanians they will use to fight by all means our own Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian christians are hurting,hating, and gnashing their teeth. Their biggest fear is that the one true God will not love them if they don’t continue to follow Satan’s ways. Let them Hate. It’s what they do. Love is not the way for them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No more demands from the ‘kings and queens’ of Cayman. The legal system has decided. Take what you won graciously and accept it for the progress that it is.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If this is something that Caymanians are against then they should leave it to the UK to force their will on the people of the Cayman Islands. History will forever make note of the lack of respect for the expressed will of the people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Expressed will of a skylarking minority yow, @3:03. Watch it now woolybully.

    • Anonymous says:

      More likely that ‘history’ will record that the Cayman Islands had to be dragged kicking and screaming to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights which, as a BOT, it is party to. If Cayman wants to remain ‘backward’ and show itself to be intolerant to a section of its own community, it must declare independence and then the country can do whatever it likes: good luck!!

      • Anonymous says:

        @9:50 hope tu read this the ECHR has declared that same sex marriage is not a right so shut the clap up.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the same way that history made note of the lack of respect in enforcing the abolition of slavery? I think history may come down on the other side and wonder why the UK didnt do it earlier.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why is the governor backing equal marriage rights? He should be neutral.

    • Anonymous says:

      Quite simply, equal marriage is a right under the ECHR which Cayman must comply with!!

    • Think ! says:

      Anthony Eden is right about him. Do we want a UK or High Judge dictatorship over us; or, do we want to uphold the supremacy of our “elected” representatives ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Last week McLean took aim at the governor for his warning about potential bigotry towards the LGBT community during any future debate, claiming that Cayman had always treated people of different sexual orientation with dignity.”

    Yea, because Dwayne Seymour’s high school like “Gaypril” joke, along with snickering and giggles from other MLAs, was definitely honorable behavior and showed dignity to other Caymanians.

    Yea, because christian Caymanians aren’t telling their own dam people to leave their own country because “they came here, respect our culture or leave” – UNNA SO FOOL to think only expats are gay here.

    The act of homosexual sex is not illegal in Cayman. Can we just stop the hypocrisy from the church and allow them to live in peace with equal rights? They are not pedophiles, just two consenting adults!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I support marriage equality but I support the political rights of Caymanians more. I am glad the Constitution has been interpreted in accordance with the clear, very clear intentions behind it. Civil unions plus no UK overreach is a perfect middle ground. All sides should embrace it. In time, full marriage will be extended. And besides, the current situation hasn’t stopped you guys from calling each other husband and wife, has it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes but just being able to call your partner by a title has no legal standing. What if your partner isn’t caymanian and they are due for roll over? Without a legally binding union/marriage their partner would have to leave which would be horrible and emotionally traumatic. A straight marriage has laws that prevent this. Why shouldn’t a gay marriage also have legal standing!?

    • Anonymous says:

      “In time, full marriage will be extended.”

      So let’s cut this BS that is wasting my tax money to fight my fellow Caymanians and give them what they deserve!

      I know some don’t like this comparison, but it is all quite like allowing blacks onto the bus but telling them they must sit in the back or stand.

    • Anonymous says:

      What political rights of caymanians are at threat here? no one is trying to take anyone rights away, they are trying to give a sections of the populace the same rights as everyone else.

      This is only a zero sum game because people like you make it out to be one.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. Rights are not pie. There should be enough to go around for everyone, except, it seems, in the Cayman Islands!

      • Anonymous says:

        No where in any law protects us. All bullying, hate, and discrimination is allowed against us unless we are just like everyone else which is forcing us to be like everyone. Well, everyone is different and you can only speak for yourself.

        I hate living here, I hate the bullying, I hate being forsaken by my own people, I hate the law turning the other way, I hate that the only people that love me for me are overseas.

        Can’t we just exercise love for each other for once! We are all Caymanian regardless of sexuality!

      • Anonymous says:

        The rights to have voted 70% in favour of a constitution that restricts marriage to men and women, and have the courts uphold it. Those rights. The rights of self-determination and self-governance which Caymanians – no one else here – has. Only Caymanians have those rights because only Caymanians own this land. This is international law. I am glad that for once the system worked as intended, and instead of having something forced on us, the law drew the line where Caymanians had voted. To build a country, every debate needs to go that way.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      “I support marriage equality but I support the political rights of Caymanians more.”

      Don’t you see that there is no conflict whatsoever between the two? We are talking about our own being persecuted and being disallowed the same rights and freedoms which you and I enjoy.

      Would you deny your own children the same rights that you’ve grown up under? Of course not. What about your neighbor’s children? Or those of a few streets over?

    • CaymanianM says:

      Civil Unions is just like Ssm. I say No to all of them including civil partnerships. And why? Because “Gay Rights” is based off sexual behavior! Again, they are BORN THAT WAY !!! And gays already have Natural Rights under the Constitution just like you and me! 🙄

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